Plano ISD suspends plan for permanent online learning option due to lack of state funding

Child in front of a computer screen.
Plano ISD has suspended plans to offer a virtual school option for the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Canva)

Plano ISD has suspended plans to offer a virtual school option for the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Canva)

Plano ISD will not offer a virtual learning option in the 2021-22 school year, according to an email sent to district families June 8.

PISD was developing a permanent virtual school option for students to begin in the fall, provided legislative approval for funding was received. However, the regular session of the Texas Legislature ended May 31 without final approval of a bill that would have expanded online learning and provided funding for full-time virtual students.

“Upon learning that [House Bill] 1468 did not pass, Plano ISD waited to hear if the Texas Education Agency would provide a waiver that would allow the district to offer a virtual option,” the district’s email states. “On June 3, 2021, the Texas Education Agency informed the district that a funding waiver for remote learning will not be an option. Regrettably, this means that Plano ISD will not be able to offer a virtual academy this fall.”

When the virtual academy option was discussed during the April 20 board of trustees work session, district staff said it would be a standalone school, with its own curricula and staff, for students who still have health concerns or need the flexibility.

Students who have already completed the preliminary registration process for the planned virtual academy will now resume enrollment at their home campuses, according to the email.


The first day of school is Aug. 11.
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is the senior reporter for the Plano and Richardson editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


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